Postnatal depression symptoms and signs

For today's post, I wanted to talk about the symptoms and signs of Postnatal Depression. 

So first of all - What is Postnatal Depression?

Postnatal depression (PND) is a depression that affects parents who have recently had babies - Contrary to popular belief, PND can affect both the mothers and fathers of babies and symptoms can present up to two years after the birth of the baby. PND affects 1 in every 10 women giving birth every year. 

What symptoms should you look out for?

The NHS describes the symptoms of PND as
  • A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood. 
  • A lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • Trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Withdrawing from contact with other people
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions
  • Frightening thoughts - For example thoughts of hurting the baby
Not everyone will have all symptoms and mostly these will come on slowly with the parent often not realising that they are suffering.

What is the difference between PND and 'Baby Blues'

Baby blues can often cause the mother to feel a bit down, tearful or anxious. These feeling do not last longer than two weeks. 

What to do if you think someone is suffering from PND

If you think someone is suffering from PND, the best thing to do would be to offer help. While I was suffering I couldn't cope with the daily tasks of looking after Harry on my own. I didn't get dressed and we would sit in the dark in front of the TV all day. 

I often found it helpful when people came round to lend a hand. Even to take Harry for an hour while I got a shower and possibly a nap. 

Another thing that would be helpful, would be to encourage them to seek medical help, but be sensitive about this - This was definitely not something I wanted to hear while I was at my worst. 

What are the treatments for PND?

There are lots of different options for treatment for PND. Every person is different and the depression affects them differently. Something that worked for one person may not work for another. 

  • Antidepressants
  • Therapy

There are also things that you can do yourself to help if you are suffering from PND such as exercise, eat well, have a schedule or routine, rest as often as you can, talk to people close to you and ask for help and making time for things you enjoy doing. 

When I was diagnosed, I felt like the worse mother in the world and honestly thought I would never feel any better and while I am nowhere near 'cured' and don't think I will ever be, I am doing so much better even with everything going on in the world right now. 

If you are worried about someone or think you may be suffering yourself, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am happy to help where I can.

1 comment:

  1. Really helpful post for those who feel like they might be suffering from PND x


Where It All Started

Birth Story

Harry's birth story seemed like a fitting first post on here. Bear with me because it was written months ago. More posts to follow ever...